1934 - 1998, Rome, Italy
Mario Schifano was an Italian painter and collagist of the Postmodern tradition. He also achieved some renown as a film-maker and rock musician.
He is considered to be one of the most significant and pre-eminent artists of Italian postmodernism. His work was exhibited in the famous 1962 "New Realists" show at the Sidney Janis Gallery with other young Pop art and Nouveau réalisme luminaries, including Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein.
He became part of the core group of artists comprising the "Scuola di Piazza del Popolo" alongside Franco Angeli and Tano Festa. Reputed as a prolific and exuberant artist, he nonetheless struggled with a lifelong drug habit that earned him the label maledetto, or "cursed".
Abandoned the informal experience, the painting becomes a “screen”, the starting point, the space of a denied event in which, a few years later, figures, letters and sign fragments of consumer civilization will emerge, such as the brand of the Esso and Coca-Cola . In 1962 Schifano is in the United States; he gets to know Pop Art closely, is impressed by the work of Dine and Kline and exhibits at the Sidney Janis Gallery in New York in the exhibition The New Realist. In 1964 he was invited for the first time to the Venice Biennale. The artist now works by thematic cycles: anemic landscapes, the revisiting of the history of art with works dedicated to Futurism. He is attracted to the images that can be taken from the mass media and therefore the collective assets.
His 1980s and 1990s works are mainly mixed medium paintings, as well as screenprints on photographic canvas of PVC and countless photographs retouched. In 1982 he participates again to Venice Biennale. In 2008 the National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome dedicates him a major posthumous retrospective.